Portrait of Prince Yahya of Qajar Dynasty

Painting, Oil on canvas
Attributed to Muhammad Hassan
Qajar Period, circa 1830s, Iran (Persia)
Dimension: 170.2 x 88.9 cm
Kept in Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA
Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4]

تصویر شاهزاده يحيى قاجار - موزه بروکلین نیو یورک
Prince Yahya, born in 1817, was the forty-third son of the Qajar ruler Fath Ali Shah (r. 1798–1834). A minor political figure in comparison with his powerful older half brothers, Prince Yahya at the age of five was appointed governor of Gilan, where he was assisted by Mutamid al-Dawla, who is portrayed on a lacquer mirror case displayed nearby. The prince’s name and title are inscribed in a cartouche, or ornamental frame for inscriptions, at the upper left. He wears the crown and jeweled ornaments appropriate to his rank, including the Order of the Lion and Sun appearing in a medallion on his chest. On the basis of the depiction of Prince Yahya as a beardless youth of fifteen or twenty with rosy cheeks, the painting may be dated to the 1830s. 

Life-size paintings of the Qajar period were originally conceived as components of larger architectural decorative programs, so it is likely that such a work would have been situated within a niche in a royal palace or pavilion. In both patterning and delicate facial features, the painting closely resembles portraits assigned to the court painter Muhammad Hasan. 

- According to Brooklyn Museum